BY MANSI M., TORONTO: Bargain is a thought provoking thriller and indeed a cinematic experience that was presented at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
Created by Byun Seungmin and directed by Jeon Woo-sung, the story begins from a simple scene of a man Noh Hyeung-Su (Jin Seon-kyu) negotiating down a price with a woman Park Joo Young (Jeon Jong-seo) for a previous agreement within a hotel room setting. Joo Young is shown entangled in a sex trafficking operation. The movie shifts into scene two and paints a completely different picture where Joo, now shown as a business woman, is leading an organ trafficking event using Noh’s body. However, due to an unforeseen earthquake during the black market auction, it levels the playing field between Noh and Joo and the others trapped inside. Once again, Noh and Joo are negotiating so they can both escape the building.
The film is filled with dark humor, negotiations, scheming and struggles of No and Joo as they work their way to escaping the building. Amidst their escape, they come across others who are also going through their own struggles to survive the crumbling building but also the circumstances of which brought them to the building. It brings together the desperation of people in an unpredictable way.
The film is continually entertaining, constantly evolving, and has the audience hooked from beginning to end. It is remarkable due to its irregularity and volatility. In a setting where nobody is to be trusted, it’s every man for himself scenario. Buyers and Sellers scramble to survive in this high-powered Korean film. Noh and Joo captivate the audience with their constant adaptations to each scene and change of negotiation that occur throughout the movie.